Serge Hoyda Files Suit to Evict Preserve 24, Alleges ‘Per Se’ Vet Purchased the Assets
When it comes to nightlife failures on the Lower East Side, Preserve 24 easily ranks as one of the most epic in recent memory. The over-the-top bar-restaurant bit off way more than it could chew, and died on the vine two months ago. It mysteriously closed at the end of June for “remodeling with new ownership on the way.” Don’t hold your breath for a reopening; there is obviously more to the story…
Landlord Serge Hoyda filed suit last week to evict Preserve 24 (aka Aegis Holding Houston LLC) from 177 East Houston Street. Hoyda was “awarded a final judgement of possession in the amount of $726,761.67 with the warrant of eviction,” according to public court documents. Also named in the filing is Anthony W. Rudolf. Yep, the former General Manager of Per Se, Thomas Keller’s acclaimed restaurant.
The suit alleges that, upon closure of the restaurant on June 27, Rudolf purchased the business assets and is now the new principal of the company. Another allegation is that new ownership is “imminently about to perform renovations to the premises.” As property owner, Hoyda takes issue with this and claims that, per its lease with Aegis, the third party is not permitted to sell and Rudolf cannot begin any work. No permissions were given.
For the moment, Hoyda successfully enjoined any auction of physical assets, including a scheduled event last Thursday.
The court issued an “order to show cause” summons which is now publicly pasted in the windows. Humiliation in no uncertain terms. According to Judge Carol Edmead, the defendant restaurant must appear in court on September 8.
As we’ve previously mentioned, Preserve 24 spent more time behind plywood than open to the public. The ambitious concept bar-restaurant at the corner of Allen and East Houston was too epic out of the gate that it was destined to fail. Too elaborate; too much square-footage; too kitschy with the fictional explorer’s club story and mission to retrieve glacial ice.